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Thursday (A defining season of Gophers football) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated August 28th at 10:05am 273024091

killThe Gophers football team won eight games last season, including four consecutive Big Ten contests for the first time in 40 years. The offense was ragged at times, but the defense made huge strides. In the hard to quantify “eye test,” the Gophers looked the part of a Big Ten team for the first time in a while. They were fundamentally sound and rarely made those crushing mistakes that cause fans (and coaches) to rant and rave. It made them enticing to watch, if not always exciting to watch.

As such, Minnesota enters a season with honest momentum for the first time in many years. A lot of established players are back — most notably in the secondary and on the offensive line, two positions that have become even more critical on a football field in recent years — and there are legitimate reasons to think that the team can take another step beyond last year’s progress.

Then again, there are legitimate reasons to think this season could take, at least in terms of achievement, a step back. The schedule is brutal. The passing game is still unproven. And even though the team’s depth looks to be improved, it’s hard to know for sure until the games begin.

As such, this season — which begins tonight with a home game against Eastern Illinois — could become a “defining” season in the tenure of Jerry Kill. If last year was the one that brought the program back to respectability, this one has the chance to either sustain, stifle or perhaps even exceed that.

Ultimately, even with a tough schedule, the year will be defined in a lot of ways by wins and losses. Anything less than seven wins is a step back. Seven or eight wins is a solid holding pattern against this slate. Anything better than that means we can start really getting excited about this program in 2014 and beyond.

Our money is on the solid holding pattern. But decades of Gophers history have told us to expect worse … while a few years of Kill have made us think we could expect even better.

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Golden State 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Phoenix
Vancouver 0 1st Prd 12:39
Buffalo 0
Arizona 1 1st Prd 13:31
NY Rangers 0
Montreal 2 1st Prd 13:07
Columbus 1
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Toronto
Chicago 6:30 PM
Florida
St. Louis 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 7:30 PM
Nashville
Ottawa 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Detroit 9:30 PM
San Jose
Northern Ky 78 FINAL
Kennesaw St 53
East Tenn St 49 2nd Half 14:11
Citadel 46
Winthrop 8 1st Half 11:43
Campbell 9
Delaware 10 1st Half 13:56
Drexel 9
Jacksonville St 16 1st Half 9:30
Eastern Ky 18
Northeastern 10 1st Half 10:58
Elon 15
Sacred Heart 19 1st Half 11:30
Fair-Dickinson 17
Western Carolina 7 1st Half 11:50
Furman 9
Char Southern 13 1st Half 13:11
Gardner-Webb 21
Western Ill 6 1st Half 15:14
IUPUI 10
Nebraska Omaha 6 1st Half 15:49
IUPU-Ft Wayne 7
Radford 4 1st Half 14:14
Liberty 9
St Francis-NY 10 1st Half 13:05
Long Island 15
Wofford 16 1st Half 9:40
Mercer 14
Minnesota 11 1st Half 14:38
Michigan State 11
High Point 17 1st Half 11:28
UNC-Asheville 17
Samford 14 1st Half 14:05
UNC Greensboro 12
Nebraska 12 1st Half 10:17
Ohio State 25
Wagner 7 1st Half 15:50
Robert Morris 11
Mount St Marys 7 1st Half 13:18
St Francis-PA 13
Houston 20 1st Half 12:42
Temple 17
Vanderbilt 16 1st Half 11:34
Tennessee 5
Chattanooga 11 1st Half 13:43
Va Military 10
Milwaukee 12 1st Half 12:23
Wright State 14
Coastal Carolina 12 1st Half 11:50
Presbyterian 11
Central Conn St 10 1st Half 11:40
Bryant 9
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
Appalachian St
SIU Edwardsville 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Green Bay 7:00 PM
Ill-Chicago
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
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Rider 7:00 PM
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North Dakota St 7:00 PM
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Rice
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Southern Miss
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Tennessee St
Fla Atlantic 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Northern Ariz 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Grand Canyon 7:05 PM
Chicago State
Utah Valley U 7:05 PM
UMKC
ULM 7:05 PM
South Alabama
Texas-Arlington 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 7:30 PM
Ark-Little Rock
Troy 7:30 PM
Texas State
Arizona 8:00 PM
Colorado
SMU 8:00 PM
Memphis
Tenn Tech 8:00 PM
Morehead State
Rutgers 8:00 PM
Purdue
Southern Utah 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Montana State 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
UC Davis 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Montana 9:00 PM
Idaho
BYU 9:00 PM
Portland
Pacific 9:00 PM
Santa Clara
Arizona State 9:30 PM
Utah
San Diego 10:00 PM
Gonzaga
St Marys-CA 10:00 PM
San Francisco
Oregon State 10:00 PM
Stanford
Long Beach State 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Rice 68 FINAL
Old Dominion 83
Georgia Southern 39 FINAL
Appalachian St 66
Manhattan 67 FINAL
Monmouth 84
Marshall 54 2nd Half 9:26
FIU 38
TX-Arlington 35 2nd Half 14:00
Arkansas State 41
ULM 30 2nd Half 12:05
South Alabama 27
Georgia State 24 1st Half 3:00
Ark-Little Rock 28
Troy 36 2nd Half
Texas State 33
LSU 4 1st Half 13:36
Ole Miss 14
(11) Miss State 4 1st Half 14:52
(2) South Carolina 11
North Texas 9 1st Half 14:44
Charlotte 9
Western Ky 12 1st Half 16:12
Florida Atlantic 7
William & Mary 23 1st Half 11:30
Coll of Charleston 17
Delaware 14 1st Half 11:53
UNC-Wilmington 8
UMBC 4 1st Half 13:55
Maine 12
UMass Lowell 5 1st Half 16:12
Vermont 4
Albany 0 1st Half 20:00
Hartford 0
Stony Brook 2 1st Half 15:06
Binghamton 9
Boston College 6 1st Half 15:49
(8) Louisville 11
(23) Syracuse 14 1st Half 14:04
Clemson 4
(16) Duke 7 1st Half 12:09
Georgia Tech 15
Florida 8 1st Half 13:38
Alabama 6
NC State 12 1st Half 12:05
(9) Florida State 15
Miami-Florida 18 1st Half 10:38
Wake Forest 17
Fairfield 16 1st Half 12:25
Iona 9
Marist 7 1st Half 12:52
Saint Peters 9
Quinnipiac 13 1st Half 16:28
Rider 0
Virginia 13 1st Half 14:46
(15) North Carolina 4
Pittsburgh 17 1st Half 11:08
(4) Notre Dame 24
Ohio State 13 1st Half 12:03
Penn State 14
Indiana 13 1st Half 12:28
(5) Maryland 16
Massachusetts 8 1st Half 14:50
Dayton 9
(22) George Washington 13 1st Half 12:59
Richmond 14
Saint Louis 4 1st Half 11:35
Rhode Island 22
Wright State 10 1st Half 13:38
Detroit 5
Green Bay 18 1st Half 11:58
Oakland 11
Central Arkansas 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
SE Louisiana 6:30 PM
Northwestern St
Missouri 7:00 PM
(12) Texas A&M
Denver 7:00 PM
No Dakota State
IUPU-Ft Wayne 7:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
IUPUI 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Lamar 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Nicholls 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Western Ill 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
(13) Kentucky 7:00 PM
Arkansas
Wisconsin 7:00 PM
(17) Iowa
(20) Rutgers 7:00 PM
(25) Northwestern
North Dakota 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
(24) California 8:00 PM
Oregon
(19) Stanford 8:00 PM
(7) Oregon State
USC 8:00 PM
Washington
Portland 8:00 PM
BYU
Gonzaga 8:00 PM
San Diego
San Francisco 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Northern Colorado 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Auburn 8:00 PM
Vanderbilt
(6) Tennessee 8:00 PM
Georgia
Chicago State 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UMKC 8:00 PM
Utah Valley U
Eastern Washington 8:00 PM
Montana State
Idaho 8:00 PM
Montana
Louisiana Tech 0 Postponed
Texas-El Paso 0
UCLA 9:00 PM
Washington St
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
Pacific
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
Cal-Irvine
Hawaii 9:00 PM
Long Beach St
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Davis

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